Allocation of funds for the widening of the Kiel Canal also boosts the Port of Hamburg’s competitiveness.
At the beginning of June the Budgetary Committee of the German Federal Parliament allocated 265 million euros for the widening of the Eastern section of the Kiel Canal. In April, the committee had already approved 485 million euros for construction of a fifth lock in Brunsbüttel.
To speed up the remaining planning and tendering for the widening, the first five million euros should be released this year. The Parliament has committed itself to an additional 260 million euros by 2019. In addition, 35 new posts for technical and legal staff in the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration have been authorized.
Building permission for the 20-kilometre eastern section of the Kiel Canal has been available since March 2014. In this section the canal should be widened from 44 to 70 metres by the end of this year.
“The overhaul of the Kiel Canal is not just a matter of survival for our colleagues in the ports of Brunsbüttel, Hochdonn, Hohenhörn, Rendsburg and Kiel situated directly on the canal. Its expansion is also of immense importance for the development and competitiveness of the entire German economy and industry – and hence also for the Port of Hamburg. We are therefore especially delighted about the good news from the Lower House,” stressed Axel Mattern, Executive Board Member of Port of Hamburg Marketing. More than 130 feeder links per week use the Kiel Canal as the fastest and most ecological sea connection between Hamburg and the Baltic region. Last year around 2 million TEU were transported on this route. “The advantage of the canal is immense. Between Hamburg and Gdansk, feederships save half the distance if they take the short cut through the canal and do not sail around Skagen in Denmark,” added Mattern. In 2013 a total of 31,097 vessels with 94.8 million tons of cargo passed through the Kiel Canal.